Taika Waititi helps raise funds for West Auckland Kōhanga

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Taika Waititi has been seen all over our screens since the premiere of his new film 'Hunt For the Wilderpeople". Today the director was seen in a different light, helping to raise funds for a local West Auckland kōhanga reo.

This west Auckland cinema was sold out today for Taika Waititi's latest film 'Hunt For The Wilderpeople.' But it wasn't just any screening, it was a fundraiser for Te Kōhanga Reo o Kākāriki.

Taika Waititi says, “It's a cool thing that they are trying to do, which is to build an outdoor class room where tamariki can learn about sustainability, ecology, their environment where their food comes from.”

The kōhanga are trying to raise $50,000 for the new expansion.

Judy Cooper / Te Kōhanga o Kakariki, says, “This was all Taika's idea, to raise the money for the kōhanga.”

“Tino pai tēnei kaupapa, nō te mea, for the kōhanga, the screening the fundraiser, but also to have Taika and people from the film communicate with the community, because they make films for the communities and we are this community,” says Ella Henry / Ngā Aho Whakaari

When he's working he's jet setting around the world, directing films like the up and coming Thor movie. Otherwise he's settling into his new home in Piha, with his wife and children.

“I always love being back, loving being around the people I think just the familial feel of New Zealanders is what I miss the most when I’m away,” says Waititi.

Te Kōhanga o Kākāriki's plan is to build an exterior class room, a new playground and a garden so the children know where their food comes from.